From Divine God To Human Goddess: On The Transformation Of Avalokitesvara In China.
Wang, Li -Jung
|Keywords:||妙善公主;原型;馬郎婦;大母神;中國觀音;Great Mother;Kuan-yin;Archetype;Miao-shan;Mrs. Ma||Issue Date:||2004||Abstract:||
Avalokitesvara (Kuan-yin), the Bodhisattva of Compassion, in India is neither female nor male, but always sculptured in the form of an Indian prince. However, After Avalokitesvara was introduced into China, he was gradually transformed into a goddess. This thesis, ranging from religion, arts, literature to analytic psychology etc., focuses on the reason, time and process of the transformation. And the previous scholars’ points of view are also discussed.
The transformation of Avalokitesvara in China took a long time. It began with the acception of Avalokitesvara and ended with the construction of female Kuan-yin. The transformation can be divided into three processes: the acception of Avalokitesvara, the acception of female Avalokitesvara, and the construction of Chinese female Kuan-yin. The acception of Avalokitesvara will be discussed in chapter 2. Chapter 3 will discuss the acception of female Avalokitesvara during the T’ang Dynasty, including the forming of female Bodhisattva sculptures and paitings in China, and the factors that influenced Avalokitesvara to maintain the female form. Chapter 4,5, and 6 will discuss how Buddhism in the Sung Dynasty is advantageous for Kuan-yin to become a goddess. People in the Sung Dynasty not only accepted the female figure of Kuan-yin, but also constructed the goddess’s character for Kuan-yin. They even composed female legends for Kuan-yin. The goddess’s character and archetype of Kuan-yin discussed is based on Erich．Neumann（1905－1960）’s “Great Mother” theory.
According to the the Great Mother archetype in the collective unconscious of Chinese people, it is inevitable for Avalokitesvara to become a goddess. This is because in the Sung Dynasty, Kuan-yin in form as well as in character is well-prepared to be a goddess. After the completion of female Kuan-yin in the Sung Dynasty, the concept of female Kuan-yin is spread through legends, sculptures, paitings, miracle tales, novels, drama etc. Therefore, female Kuan-yin has become part of the collective memory of Chinese people. Since then, Chinese Kuan-yin has been fixed as a goddess.
|Appears in Collections:||中國文學系|
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